Appalachian Appetites

International Inspiration, Local Ingredients

Three Times the Charm May 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ann @ Appalachian Appetites @ 8:57 am
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Are you sick of strawberries and rhubarb yet?!  I’m not 🙂

Here is the last of my three recipes combining the two ingredients…first a rubble, then a crisp, now a crumble.

I found a recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb Squares from Stonyfield Farms and while I didn’t have all the ingredients, I substituted.  The squares had a tough time staying together…they sliced well but them fell apart.  But oh they were good.  So sugary and sweet!  I took them to my young adult small group meeting at church and people really enjoyed them.  They were all gone before I left.  But unfortunately I left without a photo…but trust me, you’re not missing much.  Just imagine crumbs 🙂

Here is the original recipe.  I however substituted mashed banana for 1/4 c. of yogurt and 1/2 c. of granulated sugar for brown sugar.  I also didn’t have strawberry flavored yogurt, so used french vanilla and added real strawberries 🙂  Maybe my substitutions had something to do with it falling apart?

When I made the recipe, it had been one of those days where I felt very overwhelmed and stressed.  I’ve had it pretty easy since returning from Togo, but once in a while my days get so jammed packed, I have a melt down.  Life was just slower in Togo and some days I have a hard time readjusting.  Well, I decided not to use a blender to cream the butter, egg, and sugar and instead put all my frustration into it.  Man, my arm hurt!  But it was creamed.  And after talking to my mom on the phone, I felt much better.  Plus after eating a piece of this with a glass of milk before bed…ahh, life was good again 🙂

Here are the steps:

Well worth the frustration!  And a season ends…goodbye rhubarb, it’s been fun!  Until next year…

 

Which One Is It? May 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ann @ Appalachian Appetites @ 9:40 am
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Well, lots of fun and exciting things are going on that I want to update you on.  First, I had my first blogger meet-up yesterday!  I’ve seen bloggers get together on lots of other blogs but unfortunately have never lived near any other bloggers to do the same.  Well, that changed a couple of weeks ago when Jen found me through Yoga Pose May.  We literally live two miles from one another.  We exchanged a few emails and met for the first time at a local coffee-house.  I had a great time grabbing an ice tea with her (mango for Jen and mango/apple/orange for me) and getting to know one another.  I think we really hit it off!  Supposedly Jen’s mom has seen me walking Asher around the Lake and knew who we were but never said anything!  Well, this morning we saw each other and said hi!  Always fun to meet new people.  Jen and I already have a walk-the-dog date for Friday.  But looking forward to sharing a yummy meal out with her soon.  She likes tofu too 🙂 (And I promise pictures next time!) 

Also, my grandmother has arrived.  She lives in a retirement community in Durham, NC but has recently returned to the mountains for the Summer.  She has a small guest cottage (the size of a studio) that Nathan and I have been living in rent free.  She is now here and in the “big house.”  It has been nice to visit with her since I had only seen her once since my return from Togo.  The other great thing is that she is cooking for me!!  I have not had anyone cook for me since a host mom in Togo for three months.  And that food wasn’t that great.  But I’ve been eating baked chicken, homemade naan, strawberry panna cotta, roasted veggies, and fresh salads.  Amazing!  I’ve been explaining the blog and how she needs to start taking pictures of her cooking so I can post the food and recipes.  Maybe one day I’ll make it to the kitchen before she’s done so I can share the process with you.  But trust me, my stomach is happy 🙂 

I decided to make a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp for my grandmother the other night to show my appreciation.  And luckily it was much more successful than the “rubble.”  I started with a recipe from the NY Times by Mark Bittman.  Here’s his intro to the crisp if you’re interested… 

click to enlarge

 And here is the recipe.  I took his previous advice and used strawberries in place of some of the rhubarb. 

click to enlarge

It was simple and quite yummy.  And actually quite tart, which surprised me.  Again, I didn’t think the rhubarb would have much taste but it did.  Tangy sweetness.  Definitely recommended. 

 

 

 

And as for the title of this post, my grandmother decided to serve a very similar looking main dish for dinner.  We ate both out of small blue bowls.  Only after serving it, did it occur to us that one may have trouble distinguishing the two!  Here are the two dishes: 

Which one is the rhubarb and which one is…..(spaghetti sauce minus the noodles in this pic!)?? 

Here’s another view: 

 

I guess tasty food comes in brown and red?!  

And for the final update, guess what’s up for today??  My first CSA pick-up!!  Fresh veggies, here I come!!

 

Rhubarb Rubble May 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ann @ Appalachian Appetites @ 9:12 am
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I set out a couple of days ago to make a yummy strawberry-rhubarb bread budding.  To find out why this post is titled” Rhubarb Rubble” you’ve got to read all the way to the end…(“yikes” is all I can say!)

I found the recipe in a little recipe book I downloaded online.  The book is titled Classical Seasonal Desserts and was complied by Eating Well.  I checked out the “Spring” section and found the perfect recipe…combining the two foods I bought at the farmers market: strawberries and rhubarb!  The recipe was simple enough, starting with cubes of whole wheat bread.  I had the ingredients to make a loaf in my bread machine, so I started by making that.

I then made a custard, combining eggs, egg whites, skim milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and orange zest.

Afterwards, I mixed the bread (crust removed and cubed) with crushed gingersnaps…

…quartered strawberries, sliced rhubarb, and toasted walnuts…Yummy fresh strawberries:

And the rhubarb…

I really think this is the first time I’ve eaten rhubarb.  But it’s definitely the first time I’ve cooked with it.  I expected it to look and taste a lot like celery but it didn’t at all!  It was hard to cut, but was juicy and bright green in the inside.  And it is TART!  No wonder you have to add sugar 🙂

It all got mixed together and put into a greased casserole dish.

Kinda looks Christmasy doesn’t it?!

It baked for a while covered in foil and then uncovered and topped with a few more walnuts…

Here’s the final product…

Looks pretty and tasty, right?!!  Well…I don’t really know.  Nope, don’t know.  Because this happened…

AHHHH!!!  I was walking to up to my grandmother’s house and it slipped out my hands 😦

I didn’t cry but I did sigh…ahhh!!

Sad, huh?  I tried to save some but there were shards everywhere.  I didn’t want to tear up my stomach 🙂  So…I had a taste on a fork and trashed the rest. 

Sigh.  Rubble.

But I still had some strawberries and rhubarb left…more recipes to come…Life goes on 🙂